On Second Thought, Wood Would Be a Great Governor

Article excerpt

Byline: Jack Mabley

Correction: Recently I wrote that Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood might be a worse governor than George Ryan.

It was just an offhand line, but unfortunately it was picked up in the headline.

Lt. Gov. Wood phoned me and without rancor asked if I could tell her why I thought she would not be a good governor.

We had breakfast together Friday. For starters, Lt. Gov. Wood is a charming woman with an impressive background of achievements.

I told her I made the crack about her after reading stories from Springfield indicating that she could be abrasive and that she didn't get along well with everybody.

After talking with Wood, I have my own idea of why she might not be Ms. Popularity in the state capitol.

She is an activist, a doer.

The office of lieutenant governor has been close to a joke in many administrations. One lieutenant governor resigned out of boredom. Another quit for a better job.

Wood has virtually revolutionized the office. That is bound to generate resentment among office holders dedicated to the status quo, no matter how stupid and wasteful the status may be.

It's to Ryan's credit that he 1) chose her as his running mate and 2) hasn't interfered with her activities.

She is now a state leader in programs for women's health, in preserving natural resources, in economic and community development, and in citizen involvement.

Wood coordinates the statewide Performance Review project that will review all state agencies to more effectively serve us taxpayers.

Her help will be welcome in some agencies and resented in some. She'll step on a lot of toes.

She earned a Phi Beta Kappa key at the University of Illinois and a law degree at Loyola University. …